Nova Scotia Annotated Civil Procedure Rules
Part 4 - Alternate Resolution or Determination
Rule 13 - Summary Judgment
Educational Notes (Skip educational note)
13.01 Scope of Rule 13
(1) This Rule allows a party to move for summary judgment on pleadings that are clearly unsustainable and to move for summary judgment on evidence establishing that there is no genuine issue for trial.
(2) A frivolous, vexatious, scandalous, or otherwise abusive pleading may be dealt with under Rule 88 - Abuse of Process.
N.S. Gaz. Pt. 1, 07/03/2013
In this Rule 13,
“action” includes application, except the phrase “cause of action” has its ordinary meaning as a basis for an action or application;
“defendant” means a party against whom a claim is made and who defends the claim by defence, defence to counterclaim, defence to crossclaim, defence to third party statement of claim, or notice of contest;
“plaintiff” means a party who makes a claim by a statement of claim, counterclaim, crossclaim, third party statement of claim, or notice of application;
“statement of claim” means all or part of a statement of claim and includes all or part of a third party statement of claim, counterclaim, crossclaim, and the grounds in a notice of application;
“statement of defence” means all or part of a statement of defence and includes all or part of a statement of defence in answer to a statement of claim, counterclaim, crossclaim, or third party statement of claim, and the grounds in a notice of contest;
“trial” includes hearing of an application.
13.03 Summary judgment on pleadings
(1) A judge must set aside a statement of claim, or a statement of defence, that is deficient in any of the following ways:
(a) it discloses no cause of action or basis for a defence or contest;
(b) it makes a claim based on a cause of action in the exclusive jurisdiction of another court;
(c) it otherwise makes a claim, or sets up a defence or ground of contest, that is clearly unsustainable when the pleading is read on its own.
(2) The judge must grant summary judgment of one of the following kinds, when a pleading is set aside in the following circumstances:
(a) judgment for the plaintiff, when the statement of defence is set aside wholly;
(b) dismissal of the proceeding, when the statement of claim is set aside wholly;
(c) allowance of a claim, when all parts of the statement of defence pertaining to the claim are set aside;
(d) dismissal of a claim, when all parts of the statement of claim that pertain to the claim are set aside.
(3) A motion for summary judgment on the pleadings must be determined only on the pleadings, and no affidavit may be filed in support of or opposition to the motion.
(4) A judge who hears a motion for summary judgment on pleadings may adjourn the motion until after the judge hears a motion for an amendment to the pleadings.
(5) A judge who hears a motion for summary judgment on pleadings, and who is satisfied on both of the following, may determine a question of law:
(a) the allegations of material fact in the pleadings sought to be set aside provide, if assumed to be true, the entire facts necessary for the determination;
(b) the outcome of the motion depends entirely on the answer to the question.
13.04 Summary judgment on evidence
(1) A judge who is satisfied that evidence, or the lack of evidence, shows that a statement of claim or defence fails to raise a genuine issue for trial must grant summary judgment.
(2) The judge may grant judgment for the plaintiff, dismiss the proceeding, allow a claim, dismiss a claim, or dismiss a defence.
(3) On a motion for summary judgment on evidence, the pleadings serve only to indicate the laws and facts in issue, and the question of a genuine issue for trial depends on the evidence presented.
(4) A party who wishes to contest the motion must provide evidence in favour of the party’s claim or defence by affidavit filed by the contesting party, affidavit filed by another party, cross-examination, or other means permitted by a judge.
(5) A judge hearing a motion for summary judgment on evidence may determine a question of law, if the only genuine issue for trial is a question of law.
(6) The motion may be made after pleadings close.
13.05 Damages may be determined
(1) A judge hearing a motion for summary judgment on evidence must grant judgment for an amount to be determined, if the only genuine issue for trial is the amount to be paid on the claim.
(2) The judge may determine the amount, or order an assessment, accounting or reference.
13.06 Order for summary judgment
(1) An order for summary judgment may provide any remedy the court provides on the trial or hearing of a proceeding.
(2) The judge may stay an order for summary judgment until a related proceeding is determined.
13.07 Conference or hearing after dismissal
(1) A judge who dismisses a motion for summary judgment on evidence brought in an action must, as soon as is practical after the dismissal, arrange to give directions, unless all parties waive this requirement.
(2) The judge may provide directions for the conduct of the proceeding, including directions that do any of the following:
(a) restrict discovery in view of disclosure made through an affidavit or cross-examination on an affidavit;
(b) narrow the issues to be tried by identifying facts not in dispute;
(c) regulate disclosure or production of documents, electronic information, or other evidence;
(d) permit evidence on the motion for summary judgment to stand as evidence at trial;
(e) provide for a speedy trial;
(f) provide for a hearing, rather than a trial, under Rule 6 - Choosing Between Action and Application.